Are American takeaway foam #6 food trays and cups recyclable?

As is known to all, America is the global financial center and the pace of life is also in a hurry, office workers here often choose to take their food away to save time. While it is an efficient way, it is important to take note of foam recycling because food trays and cups are often discarded at will after the food is eaten.

When you see the piles of discarded disposable foam lunch boxes, maybe you have the foam recycling consciousness but don't know how to act it out. In fact, food trays and cups are divided into several categories, black food trays from restaurants and even those from frozen meals must be placed in your garbage; rigid plastic clam-shell packaging can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin; but neither of the material is as common as Foam#6 in America, so this article will focus on the recycling of Foam#6 food trays and cups.

Can foam #6 food trays and cups be recycled in America?

Yes, they can, but it’s difficult to recycle. The reason why it's difficult is that foam #6 biodegrades slowly and shows significant resistance to photolysis, or decomposition by the action of light. So Foam#6 requires a specialized foam recycling machine to handle. While the machine is running, foam containers must be in recyclable condition. So you need to wipe or rinse food containers in advance, coffee and soda cups do not have this need.

Are these foam #6 containers accepted in America curbside foam recycling program?

It depends on whether the foam recycling machine is equipped. If your local government has a curbside recycling program equipped with foam recycling machine, then you can simply put your takeaway foam #6 food trays and cups in the recycling bin. Why the machine is important is because if foam #6 containers haven’t been treated firstly, they would be contaminated and degraded due to their light weight during transportation and sorting, not be instrumental in foam recycling.

What are the ways to recycle foam #6 trays and cups?

Besides curbside recycling, you can take them to the recycling center. And some restaurants and other businesses collect foam cups for recycling by mail. In addition, some school districts have started foam recycling programs for lunch trays and containers.

With the above introduction, I believe you already have an understanding of takeaway foam #6 food trays and cups recycling in America. In fact, dining in a restaurant is the most environmentally friendly way, but if you can't avoid taking food away, you must pay attention to foam recycling instead of just throwing foam away.